DOL Clarifies FMLA Qualifying Event
Under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), an eligible employee is entitled to leave to care for a family member including parent, child or spouse with a serious health condition. Further, FMLA leave can be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule for medically necessary treatment and procedures.
The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor recently reviewed a scenario wherein an eligible employee took FMLA leave to attend a Committee on Special Education (CSE) meeting to discuss an Individualized Education Program (IEP) of the employee’s child. The DOL opined in Opinion Letter FMLA2019-2-A that the need to attend these specialized meetings to address the educational and special medical needs of the employee’s children, who have serious health conditions as certified by a health care provider, would be a qualifying reason for taking intermittent FMLA leave.
While every IEP meeting may not rise to a level of a qualifying FMLA event, employers should be aware that, in certain circumstances, these types of meetings could qualify as care for a family member. Keep in mind that medical certification can be used to validate the need to care for a family member.
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